|Early maintenance makes a better yard|
|May 06, 2016 Jerry Purvis|
Although the weather remains unsettled, spring is approaching, so it’s time to get the yard ready for a summer of growth.
Matt Palomo of Palomo’s Yard Care Service recommends one of the first tasks of spring is to get the lawn mower serviced.
“Make sure the blade is sharpened and the filter is clean,” Palomo said. If there’s any gas left in the mower from last year, dump it out because it creates water. Then check the spark plug and the oil.”
He said the owner can do the work or a service company can be contacted. The important thing is to get the mower back in top working condition after winter of sitting in the garage.
Some homeowners are already moving their lawns. Palomo recommends that for this early in the season, the lawn should be cut to a minimum of two inches for a nice, clean cutting. Later in the season, June through August, the lawn should be cut to three inches in height.
If the lawn has thatch left over from the previous year, now is the time to have the lawn power raked. This can also be done by hand, but takes more time and effort. Remember to mow in a different direction each time to avoid creating mower tire tracks over time. Changing up the direction also makes for healthier lawn.
As the lawn starts growing, regular watering is needed. That means arranging for an inspection of underground sprinkler system to make sure they’re in working order.
For perennial flowers, Palomo said you should cut back any dead leaves to about two inches above the new green growth. This will help the plants grow faster.
“You also need to check the mulch in gardens and around trees,” he said. “A lot of it has already decayed and has been scattered by the wind. You should have about three inches of fresh mulch.”
The gutters also need to be inspected. Any debris from the previous year should be cleaned out, even if there are no trees above the gutters. Palomo said he’s seen where granules from shingles have washed into the gutters. If not cleaned out, that material can cause metal gutters to corrode.
Owners should also check the trees on their property and prune back any dead branches that can be reached. For higher branches, call in professional help.
He also recommended to remove any tree wrap from recently planted trees, as insects often nest inside and damage the tree.
For deciduous trees, put a hose on trickle along the base and let it run for about an hour, twice a week. “A tree can only drink so much water,” Palomo said. “Just give it what it needs and don’t oversaturate the soil.”
When it comes to lawn aeration, Palomo said to wait about a month. “Wait until water gets back into the ground,” he said. “The ground is hard right now because we’re just coming out of winter. If it’s still hard in a month or so, aeration might be needed. This is all basic maintenance, but it’s very important to get it done this spring.”